Thursday, August 30, 2012

FormForAll: dangerous life of the john

men's room sign @ Little Dickens, Lynchburg, Va

Seldom a line at the men's room
you wont catch us talking sales, shop
or gossip, silent soldiers fumbling rifles, eyes cast up

avert! avert! we wait, on spotted tile, fire, aim, zip up
and move on, while our ladies shop
oblivious to our assembly line efficiency, leaving room

for the next without uncomfortable shoulder grazes, or shop
-ping bag leg brushes, there is no room
for 'small' talk, more couth than bringing up

self-consciousness,  we
leave the room, exit the shop & pray as u-p, you dont get caught
in the blind
ZIP --- detached

Over @ dVerse Poets today we are writing tritina poems...i know, i had to look it up...it is in no way related to a martini...which i ordered once in my life...and nearly died....not for me. Anyway, Sam has us writing these things and will open the doors at 3 pm EST.

Really if you want to know how it is done read his explanation, i have dysformexia...i got some of my ABCs backward...and that last section really is just one long line, not a stanza...really....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Poetry Jam: I'd nap if not for the birds

the actual sky, un-photoshopped

i wipe birdshit
off the bench before lying down

it's hard and dry.
my back stretches flat
pop~pop~pop

the sky, blue
with wispy clouds
breaking like sea foam
on shoreline,
swirls & knurls

everything & nothing
being, all i know
this moment

i'd send a postcard
but got no stamp.

Sincerely,
yours

written for Poetry Jam & said in 55 words for our good friend g-man.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

OpenLinkNight: Multiple choice tests & No. 2 lead-ings

turtle, Branson, MO

who lives, who dies & who cares?

government (ha
now that is a statement,
but this is...) class
& we are discussing
heart transplants,

the denial of one to a twenty three
year old last week, because he's
autistic---

quality of life & usefulness to society,
ability to pay
taxes & create revenue
streams,

really? Angsty stuff
knowing you will piss off
some/every/body
no matter which side you take. we
read the newspaper

clipping, argue til blue (in the face
& other internal parts) but the point
is someone had to make a decision,

which is much different than sitting on the couch,
pretending not to notice or bitching about it
when unwilling to do it yourself---look around

the cinder block walls are thick with layers of paint,
so many layers---aren't they
pretty

Bring out your poems! Bring out your poems! It's OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets....time to get out poetry on! Doors open at 3 pm.

Here is a link to the article we were discussing as well.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Magpie Tales: a redhead with green eyes

Andrew Wyeth via Magpie Tales

empty the room---all you want
even erase the shadow of the unlit
candlestick on the mantle

bringing them back is the trick
and is not always as easy

a man at the condiment counter
of the coffee shop, rips the heads off
a fist of sugar packets, dumps them
in his coffee, stirs, sips

wince ~ twitch

another fist full rips, dumps.
on his arm, a tattoo of black wrinkles,
Rorschach blots that surely carries some meaning,
what he is wearing (t-shirt, jeans, scuffed toe
work boots) doesn't much
if you want to know the future

read faces, like tea leaves,
cast knuckle bones,
braille on your fingers, eyes
contain
          the ever
spinning universe

or dead space, empty as this room
where the line is out the door,
he pours more sugar
& i wait to throw away my cup,
the taste still thick on my tongue.

written for Magpie Tales and Theme Thursday

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Poetics: in endless parade

Two parts of the road as a whole by Borg de Nobel

It’s cyclic, fashion sense
what went out will be back---unless
it’s tragic---parachute pants, first
Michael Jackson then Insane Clown Posse
just add straps. in the morning

students walk the breezeway circle
around the administrative building---NOT
the hallways---an endless parade & attempt PDA
in ways they think we’d never figure, as if
we’d never, but I've been there

police the inches (above the knee
& down the chest, don’t let me see under there.
under where? exactly) within the box
you can still make a statement
birds & elephants

in symbiotic relationships, one riding the back
the other, unseen, even when standing in the middle
of the room, around they go---cargo shorts, big hair,
beehives on boys Bieber style, John Deere & Tupac
at a table with the President, enough
sports teams to start a league, emo onyx
eye make-up, comb in the pocket, flipped out
to trick out in a quick pass, the road to adolescence
paved with good intentions ends in  a round-a-bout
some never get off

Big Ben & Parliament
         Big Ben & Parliament
                    White House & Congress

love’s written in magic marker-so don’t worry,
what you're wearing today may be yesterday, but
it will be back when you’re thirty or----& by then
the scales’ll’ve turned on the in-crowd
by an extra forty pounds or so

a-rose blossoms where you least expect it,
fashionably late, yet just in time---& ‘they’,
left to ‘remember whens’

it’s cyclic, ever repeating, never truly repeating
better get to class before the bell rings
might learn something

birds & elephants, all relationships
symbiotic---on endless parade


Today @ dVerse Poets, Claudia has invited painter Borg de Nobel to inspire us with some of her art....it is intriguing and carries a bit of magic...doors open at 3 pm.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meeting the Bar/55: sun bright in our eyes, burns away the shadows

t-shirt, Old Navy


'you have to support the tail
when unwrapping a boa,'

she says, serious,

'we all need that, you know,'
 adds

'we had one, but...it thought
our son food &
                         (*silence*)

i measure distance between
knowledge &...

escort her son from visitation
to where foster parents wait

to take him home,
as she leaves
                   alone.

Over @ dVerse Poets today, Victoria is working with us on developing the characters in our poetry...this is based on an interesting conversation at the visitation trailer one day....any way, Victoria will open the doors at 3 pm.

And in 55 words for the g-man.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Poetry Jam: reVerse engIneering pAradise

Moose, @ the lodge, Liberty Mountain Snowplex, Lynchburg, VA

HTAED was the name i gave my cat
in anatomy class

'How morbid,' the other students said
extracting theirs from the thick walled plastic bags
which crinkled harsh with each shift
once stacked neatly, cord wood bodies
tofu textured beneath glass faced cabinets

that first day, separating skin
with scalpel, from muscle
of Fluffy,  Percival,
Mr. Whiskers and such

fur slick on the fingers
as pulled taut, squealing
& moaning, they scrAPED
back to tail where it hung
half mast

HTAED, with his rictus grin,
& i silently shared a joke
at this backward dance
of understanding

life, in his death---wash your hands
all you want, the smell of pReservation

won't come off---

give it a name,
                   let's make it personal

but whatever you do
                    don't lick your dactyls.

written for Poetry Jam.

That really was the name I gave my cat in anatomy---and no one really understood it, but....forgive an old man for thinking back on his birthday....smiles...returning to my own days in high school.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

OpenLinkNight: bell to bell

roadside, Branson, MO
First day----bell rings
    & i'm back

in high school (my mom even called
this morning to wish me off, dad joking---
'you're lucky she did not walk
you to the bus stop') as if i never left---

never escaped these halls---home room, freshmen
asking the same questions, playing cool
while scared shit-less, seniors giving a shit less,
unsure of the new guy-we'll get there
it's not changed much, a drop

of coffee on my crotch & it looks
like i'm leaking, still brutal

'Mr. Miller'
                                     'Mr. Miller'
           'Mr. Miller'

'what is history?'

'old people'          'some dead'
     'wearing powdered wigs'
'that did something'
        or
    'changed the world'

& at the final bell, i crouch
against a brick column, fingering a tuft
of grass by its base as the buses
                                pull out

laughing to myself,  (at myself, us)
                        IS THAT IT?
ALL THERE IS?
                        glad, men in white wigs
are NOT the only heroes

they just sign the pay checks
         of those that write the books & i decide

 to spend a few minutes with Kerouac
in the library, before leaving.

It is OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets, time to write a poem and come join the excitement...it opens at 3 pm EST--but in the mean time if you pop over you can see the winners of our anniversary poetry contest as well.

Thanks for the grace as well as I figure out working the new job and keeping up with you as well. Smiles. Only able to really visit early in the morning and at night right now.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Magpie Tales: London Bridge, un-fallen

Under Windsor Bridge by Adolphe Valette (via Magpie Tales)

he's nervous---his first game
the grass is green

sun bright, all the white lines
head straight, uniform fresh out the plastic,
helmet polished

he's not the best on his team & knows
he must earn his position
& prove himself

'dad, i'm going to be sick'

'well, here's what i want you to do---
first play, tackle your guy, put him on his back
and as you lay on top, look him in the eye
then let it loose, filling his helmet

i guarantee he will run away
from you the rest of the day'

his eyes scope, wide then tight
trying to find london bridge un-fallen,
not time to be a man
yet

i laugh, say
'come on'

head behind the girl's bathroom
& he does

hot & wet
as i rub his back

written for Magpie Tales.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Poetics: Summer came, and all I got was this t-shirt

riverside, Branson, MO


'Ya'll should go to Eureka Springs,'
says the man by his van, another

hour and a half, after the sixteen
it took to get here, we just met,
when i asked about his Arkansas plates,
being nice, and all

'There's lots of weird people there,'
he doesn't dance well, backs up
as if just discovering the heat
of the as-phalt

'Not weird as in dangerous,
but weird interesting. you'd fit
right in.'

I leave him dangling on the line,
debate jerk-ing the hook, but
let him off with a grin & he tells me

Ghost Hunters found a full body
apparition - no hoax - lots of antique
shops as

'Well, you drive safe,' i shake
his hand & watch them
up the road, my son pedals
over on his bike, 'Do I

really look that weird?'
i ask

'Daaaaaaad,' his only answer
as off he goes leaving me
to my sandals---the sun,
side up egg, in the sky,
all popped and runny---

mopped up with toast---savored
with a dash of salt & pepper,
.

Over at dVerse Poets, we are wringing out the last bit of SUMMER---school starts here on Monday---so pull out you slide projectors & show us your SUMMER....this is one of the lost poems from my Branson trip...any way, see you at 3 pm at dVerse.

PS. I took a job with a school about 35 miles from home, so a little commute. Great team of teachers I am working with though. Kids come back Monday, so should be fun. Smiles.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FormForAll: Gods & Men

restaurant step, Buchanan, VA

'god does not like ugly,' a man
at the pool says to his daughters
& their friends, belly round and tan
thrust out like so many altars
where animals slain by butchers
appease angry dieties---ignorance,
of selfish man---i pray other authors
outweigh the scars your benev(i)olence

      ...has born upon their virgin skin

Over at dVerse Poets today, Gemma Wiseman is guest hosting for Gay and has us writing Huitains---as always i give my own little spin...adding the last line which is outside the form...also rather than sticking to either 8 or 10 syllables per line i mixed 10 & 8. Any way, she will open the doors at 3 pm.

At which time I will probably getting off from work...woohoo...smiles.

written in 55 words, cause that is what g-man forces us to do on fridays....smiles....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poetry Jam: They have such pretty mouths

Logan, 9, Branson, MO

where are all the men?

all the mothers on hard metal bleachers
aluminum teeth eating into their ample posteriors

talk, talk, talk

while i try to watch practice:

'Oh, it's so stiff...i spent $214
on school supplies...think i pulled something
at the Y...we should do manicures
while they play...it works better with a darker
color under it...'

boys throw their bodies into each other
picking up mouth pieces from the mud & dirt
where they spit them gasping for breath
after the last play, pop them back in
& lick their lips, sweat no longer rivulets
it is their skin

'skinny jeans...did you see...we went out
to eat at...that teacher is such a...johnny has a rash
where the pads rub his...'

grunting, back to the ground, they exhale fountains
bang their helmet heads, bleed, grass stain pants,
faces smudged, limping to the line again...again....

give them a week,
     give them a game

these moms will bring their husbands,
there will be swearing angry voices, referees
trembling at the vehemence, testosterone filling
the air, finger pointing & not the nice kind

& nothing will calm them
their pretty painted mouths having never been
so dirty, as their husbands blush & i
will still be asking

where are all the men?

written for Poetry Jam.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

OpenLinkNight: (Unit-ed) States of America

King Kong, Branson, MO

All the sellers are bleary eyed, having been here
since before the light, even as they unload, the first
buyers shine their flashlights, like proctologists
in all the dark recesses

'What are you asking?'

'Five dollars.'

'Will you take two?'

catching them in the anx for the first sale, sugar plum
dreams of riches at a quarter a clip & the need to finish
before the serious arrive---'yes'

then watch their wares move two stalls over,
through the process of inflation, i

wait for the rush to end & the sun,
to walk the gravel among the obese and emaciated,
all too happy to find a toilet tissue holder complete
with a bottle opener---it's convenience

what goes in must come out

& why waste time moving from the throne,
there is almost a royal feeling to it---and all the memories
someone else's, but mine as well--G.I. Joe figures
my mom sold when i was in Uni, passed around until
now here they sit once more, family photo albums
no longer needed, anything you want you can find
& still they dream of enough to pay a bill
or blow on lotto tickets

you never know, this might be the week
(as much a chance as universal healthcare)

an older man, tan, creased, plays the SPAMjo,
an invention, mixing trash to make music---really
it's beautiful what he can do & he serenades his way
stall to stall, subsidizing his retirement with song

'i'll never get there quick, but...'

i want one---i'll 'lectrify it and Jimi his anthem
our anthem, maybe set it on fire,
blend in Simple Man by Skynyrd

even the polo shirt and khaki is allowed, decrying
the current regime, pimping the next king---his fliers
litter & his BMW---might not make it out alive
but----there is HOPE yet

another invites those that pass his test into a trailer,
'Let me show you the guns, now you are 21, right?'
wink ~ wink

every war needs a slogan

& wink ~ wink
has a certain irony
learned from those that lead us
here & ever more

There is SO much HOPE at the flea market,
& for whatever CHANGE you got, you can buy some
as you flee the market--- Forget your lust for the rich man's gold
All that you need, is in your soul
...and be sim-ple kinda man

It is time once again for OpenLinkNight @ dVerse Poets---so break out your pens and get to poeting. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

Process Note: The italicized are lyrics from Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Personal Note: Got one job offer today...will make a decision on it by tomorrow. And our good poet friend and fellow dVerse Poet, Steve E will be stopping at my house this evening....woohoo...good times.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Magpie Tales: The shell of life

image by Francesca Woodman (via Magpie Tales)

on the deck, boards
worn smooth by footfalls, ants
clean a beetle of it's meat,
leaving only a shell

bees buzz flowers, by the driveway
    the hum of their wings a lullaby
    the hum of their wings an aria,
    a dirge

a squirrel scampers up a tree,
chik, chik, chik---stops
& turns its head to look

birds flash their colors, gypsy
moth, inch worm, spider silk,
fly-i in barefeet, i in bAREfeet

my cat licks itself

the shell is empty, life
remains, life
remains

inspired by the image by Francesca Woodman @ Magpie Tales

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Poetics: #00182319 (butterflies burning in the citrus)

at the toy store


Give a child a lime or lemon & they wince
with each kiss, but won’t be able to stop
putting it in their mouth & as adults
we laugh until tears rim our eyes---

She plays in the grass, green against her purple
sundress, chasing white wing butterflies---stops
to pick a daisy, brings it close to her nose & inhales.
The sun’s gold. Motes float along & through it,
accenting the magic of the moment.

They, unnoticed, stand on the periphery
by a sidewalk bisecting the lush, a man
& woman holding hands, his collar button open,
mocha slacks, her a dress not unlike this
little blond girl

with skin so fresh, fuller than before—
it flushes when she sees them, smile
wide, lips so pink. Buttercups, dandelions
& that green. green grass she crosses

into their arms-into them. They dance,
her dress fluttering in the joy
as she spins around---any memory
of me fades as the door closes & one day,
maybe too she will forget the family
that birthed her

nights--tight bindings & breakings
that go into the making of butterflies & the harsh
light of the sun

(I keep the wing of one in my book,
found beneath the bleachers at football practice
one that did not make it, yet even
broken pieces carry potential
beauty)

lost now to the warm scent of home---I sign
the bottom page of paperwork,
close the hard fibre-woven file & run
my finger along the numbers --- 00182319
a last time before it joins other children sitting neatly
in my desk drawer---

tart citrus burns my lips, corners curling
high into my cheeks—I bite
& bite
& bite

Today @ dVerse Poets, we got some beautiful sadness going on...a little bitter in the sweet...hey dont blame me, Stu is the one backing the bar today...smiles...3 PM, we'll be there.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

From atop the hill, they all look like beetles



Cole, Branson, MO

'butt down, head up
3-point stance'

'on the whistle,
run'

'the second,
stop'

'butt down, head up
3-point stance'

'got it?'

'who are WE?'

'Broncos'

'who ARE we?'

'Broncos'

'break it down'

'HUWAH'

'again'

'HUWAH'

(tweet)

(tweet)

a golden horizon stretches
shadows downfield, fading

'#12, where's your mouthpiece?'

'everyone back,
start over'

(tweet)

Over at dVerse today, Claudia is running Meeting the Bar and has us writing Impressionist poetry-you can google Impressionist paintings if you want to get the idea. The other day at my son's football practice, I climbed a hill and watched from a distance...the only sounds were the coach yelling and the grunts of the 7 & 8 year olds as day became night.

Also, said in 55 words, for g-man.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Poetry Jam: Price tag Populus

magnet, Branson, MO

1.6 million will die this year from diarrhea
& this
       is not a political poem---

that stool is too loose to stand on
    or should i say depend(s) on
a fouled well of our own making,
    in letting 'them' dictate to 'us'
what is important
& succumbing to the spew
                                   of rhetoric

who came up with the term acceptable losses
as a justification for our actions & was he willing
to be one?
     human?
          statistic?

each one, teach one-bear arms
to defend your self interest & if in the course
of events you must
                             turn a blind eye to the rest
of us--- it is not your responsibility anyway,
                                                            is it?

obviously karma has finally caught up
with the masses for choices made over generations
shame & guilt, assigning blame we've built
fault lines in the foundation of our humanity

this is not a political poem

wait on them for a solution & you'll die
of old age in a broken system (with no social security)
check the record, it's warped
     where the needle rides the groove
     where the rubber meets the road
     where an empty spoon kisses any kids lips
     & attack ads take presidents over the issues
only puts out static

forget the cake, let them EAT MOR CHIKEN
if it keeps their attention

there is no Return On Investment in mouthes to feed,
no need, let nature select & weed
out those too broke to affect corporate profits

acceptable losses,
                 acceptable losses
a term to keep the costs faceless

1.6 million will die from diarrhea
& this is not a political poem
it's about we the people seceding from the bullshit
& realizing the only out---
                                    belongs to us.

written for Poetry Jam, where Mary challenges us to write about what we value.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

OpenLinkNight: How long we can hold our breath under water

Gas Works Park, Seattle by Reena

There is no way
what passes for cheese, on the nachos
at the city pool
has any nutritional value

the way skin forms on its surface
within seconds
more brown than artificial
orange

I explained sex
to my nine year old this morning
across the kitchen table

a warm & cooling cup of coffee in my hands,
his, gripping the wood top, tight

using words like sacred & milky liquid,
how to treat women & waiting, how exciting
it can be & responsibility when—later

he told his mother
it made him feel barfy
but he asked

after kids at school filled his mind
with something more akin to the cheese,
growing ever thicker, hardening into inedible
cement on stale tortilla chips
worth all the $2.25 they charge

as my sons splash & play,
loud with squeals, in the crystal water


over at dVerse today, it is time once again to break out you poetic flair---bring what you got and get your poetry fix---OpenLinkNight, where anything goes as long as it is poetry. Smiles. Write...3 pm EST doors open...and we will be waiting on you. Smiles.

personal update: no luck on the school job...today i will start canvasing other counseling companies to keep doing what i am doing. there is a definite lack of male counselors so hoping that will be an easy transition. we'll see.

the picture today is by blog friend reena when i saw it i found it rather fascinating and she obliged my request to use it. smiles

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Magpie Tales: dinner conversation

John Singer Sargent (via Magpie Tales)
'do you remember when---'

begins my least favorite conversations
like all we have left are memories
of a history no longer being written.

this is impotence to a writer.

there comes a point they stop waiting
for the next & tire of hearing
of the last----

stories don't write themselves
& blaming the muse

is like telling your lover you lack
the energy, your hair is wet or----

any other convenient excuse

'but you don't understand...'

no really, i do,
can you

pass the rolls please,
i can butter my own.

written for Magpie Tales

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Poetics: Disaster Vacation Junkie

dam, Branson

Our fascination with disaster as an attraction
is somewhat disturbing--- flocking to it,
perhaps attempting to understand
what no one can

On vacation, in Branson
you’ll find most anything to occupy y
our attention:

     strap yourself in a cage and be shot
     to the clouds---0-60 in flat seconds, upside down 
     half the time---American Idol finalists, shows galore
     a fish hatchery for the naturalist, outlets-outlets-outlets
     (free fudge) putt-putt, amusement park, roadside 
     attractions, ozark mountains--- 

We choose touring the Titanic, already knowing our fate, 
the prop-ellor over our heads as we wait in the lobby
is foreboding, all 800 & some feet ready to sink
for our pleasure---

Touch the iceberg & feel your fingers burn-by the end
we’ll submerge them til our joints hurt
after only 18 seconds, imagine waiting, hope leaking
like feeling as you cling to the wreckage, looking
for loved ones & LoSinG (shiveRteeTHc-c-c-latter)

I am William Minahan, a doctor
I don’t make it, but got my name on the wall
what FAME! (you’d think people’d be more solemn)

The musicians played til the end, none even
trying to get in a lifeboat---first, popular tunes
then hymns, small comfort to ease the passage,

I trace words in the glass:

     “we were a mess of hopeless dazed humanity
      attempting…to keep
      our breath to the last possible moment”

Oh, how I understand Jack, but my kids don’t
they laugh and laugh as they try to climb the tilting deck
I, staring into the eyes of the porter, all beard
& felt hat, hand in his pocket fingering a watch
it’s almost time, it’s almost time - he just doesn’t know it

Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon gets the last word in
as we take our first watery breath

     “the possibility of being able to help anyone
      never occurred to me…”

exactly

& we leave,
souvenir plush stuffed ship in hand
             too fascinated to believe

Over at dVerse today, I am hosting Poetics, where we will be turning our eye on history. Actually we did enjoy the museum. One of those places I wont return too but enjoyed once. Particularly fond of the pictures by Francis Brown that were found in a trunk at his death. The only know pictures of life aboard the Titanic. Pick your point in history and get writing. I will open the doors at 3 pm EST.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Awake in our sleep & Book 'em

Louisville, KY

Awake in our sleep

keep dreams close, mine are
drawn in chalk on sidewalks
bisecting the city of you
into boroughs & bus routes

drawn in chalk, on the side(i)walk
continents shift with self discovery
 in you, burrows us routes
& leaves a map for you to follow me

(un)content to drift, be selfish over me
plant your flag & carve boundaries
 leave a map, let we follow me
 & the sun shiver in our heat

planting flags, carving boundaries
into top down Cadillacs to cruise the
sun, shivering in our heat---
& rain, when it comes, runs colors to blend

anew, in dreams to keep...

over @ dVerse today, Sam has us writing pantoums...which mine vaguely resembles---i had a little fun inside the sand box with my word play today. smiles.

and for my friend g-man, a 55 word story...


Book 'em

Passing the Amazon.com warehouse in Huntington
alight in the pitch, before dawn,
    a spiritual awakening,
    all the books, locked in rows marching
    toward unleashment on unsuspecting masses

ideas, set to crawl into ears & fire neurons
in intentional acts of arson
    their comrades chanting

             'burn baby, burn'

me answering,

            'light the night-
                        lead us home'

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Poetry Jam: Verbs, nouns & barbarians

Lexington, KY

'How do I look?'

she steps out,
skirt
shirt
hair braided

the boys play legos
in their room,
door closed

so i purr,
'Like a barbarian,'

which
doesn't come across as sexy
as intended
or match the mental picture
i envisioned

& the bathroom door closes
with a small click, like the cock
of a pistol,

FAIL

it barks,
but i don't pull the trigger
& add -ure,

knowing the difference
between noun and verb

i let the sentence end
with a period,
        and knock on the door
to try again.

written for poetry jam because i am not perfect. smiles.